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“I want to rub my face all over his face!” – The Lazy Recapper takes on Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Gossip Girl, Glee and New Girl

[Don’t worry, Fangbangers!  Your TVD-cap of “Heart of Darkness” is on its way, and will hopefully be posted sometime before midnight, E.S.T. Friday, April  20th.  I promise to make it worth the wait.  And even if it isn’t, at least all those Delena gifs will be pretty to look at!]

 

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There was plenty to love in this week’s TV lineup: smart one-liners, shocking reveals, grown men engaged in fisti-cuffs, baby scares, illicit affairs, disco-dancing cross dressers, and even some chewing gum that got caught at the VERY WRONG PLACE at the VERY WRONG TIME.  So, of course, I wanted to “rub my face” all over all of it . . .

well . . . except for maybe the chewing gum (That’s just gross).

Let’s review shall we?

Game of Thrones – “What is Dead May Never Die”

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This week on Game of Thrones, Tyrion Lannister once again illustrated his cunning and overall awesomeness, by marrying off his 10-year old niece Myrcella off to two different (both twenty years her senior) at the EXACT SAME TIME . . .

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 . . . which, in Game of Thrones-land, isn’t nearly as creepy as it sounds.  OK . . . scratch that . . it’s absolutely as creepy as it sounds.  But you can’t blame Tyrion for living during an effed-up time.  Can you?

In other Tyrion news, DUDE, dump that Shae Wench.  And dump her fast.  Trust me on this one, little guy.  I’m only looking out for you . . .

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Elsewhere in Westeros, we met Renly Baratheon’s wife, Margaery, who we learned is a real . . . umm . . . how do I put it nicely, “team player,” when it comes to carrying out the Commandment of “Honor thy Husband.”

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She’s also VERY, VERY committed to her family.  (Perhaps, too committed?  Then again, isn’t everyone on this show.)

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This week, we were also introduced to Brienne of Tarth, who just so happens to be my favorite character from the George M.M. Martin book series on which this show is based.  Brienne kicked her king’s boyfriend’s ass in a jousting match, and earned herself a spot on the Kingsguard, as her chosen reward.

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(Personally, I would have asked for money . . . or a Vegas vacation . . . but that’s just me)

Still, I admire the androgenous Brienne’s strength and moxie.  She should REALLY do something about that hair though . . .  It makes her look  like Macauley Culkin . . .

Speaking of poor fashion choices . . .

Mad Men – “Signal 30”

This week on Mad Men, Don Draper joined the ever-growing Ugly Jacket Club . . .

He took it off a few minutes later to “fix a broken sink,” but that damage had already been done.  Honestly, if I was a guy who looked like Don Draper, I’d probably never wear a shirt . . . EVER.  And a jacket?  Well, that’s as superfluous an item of clothing as this clown nose . . .

 . . . particularly if it looks like it was made from someone’s picnic blanket . . .

And yet, this episode wasn’t really about Don and his questionable wardrobe choices.  It had a lot more to do with good ole Pete Campbell.

Pete had quite the busy week this week.  For starters, he went to driving school, and crashed and burned with a perky blonde high school chicky.  Dammit!  Who’s going to take Pete to the prom now?

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Pete also got to wine and dine some British big wig from Jaguar (which Brits apparently pronounce as “Jag-oo-arrrr.”)

“Tastes like my dignity . . . “

Helpful hint, Pete.  If you have to wear a big, while you are eating it . . . it’s probably not a classy meal.  You know what else isn’t classy?  Chewing gum on your dingaling . . .

Confused?  See . . . I forgot to mention that, after eating Baby Food with Bibs Pete and Mr. Jag-oo-arr traveled  to the Best Little Whore House in Manhattan, where Pete decided to role play a little Game of Thrones.  (He was Joffrey.)

 This may have seemed like good fun at the time.  But, ultimately, it resulted in SCDP losing the Jagooar account . . . thanks to Mr. Jagooar’s decision to get horizontal with one of those girls, who always leaves their chewing gum under chairs in public places  (I HATE people like that.), and clearly mistook Mr. Jagooar’s weiner schnitzel for one of those chairs.  Oops!

This business loss positively infuriate Lane, who had brought the account to SCDP in the first place.  A few harsh words were exchanged on both sides.  And, before you know it, this often stuffed shirted Madison Avenue advertising agency, had morphed into it’s very own version of Fight Club . . . with Lane playing the role of Tyler Durden as Brad Pitt, and Pete paying the much less lucky role of Tyler Durden as Ed Norton.

 In other words, Pete got his ass handed to him, BIG TIME.

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Let that be a lesson to you, folks.  Never mess with those Nerdy British types.  Not only are they surprisingly scrappy.  But most of them have never had chewing gum placed on their hot dog.  (They were much too busy beating people up in alleyways to concern themselves with such nonsense.)

While Pete went home early to lick his wounds (or, perhaps, have his wife lick them for him) . . .

“Don’t look at me, Don.  I’m HIDEOUS!”

 . . . Lane retired to his office, where he was promptly comforted by a newly maternal Joan.  “If they tried to make you feel different than them, you are.  And that’s a good thing,” she offered supportively.  Lane responded by doing this . . .

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AWWWWK-WARD!

Well . . . at least it could have been awkward, if Joan idn’t handle the situation like a TOTAL boss.

Her face inscrutably blank, Joan quietly rose to open the door, thereby decidedly closing off the possibility for Kiss: THE SEQUEL.  But then she came right back to sit down next to Lane, silently reassuring him that this would not change their business relationship or their friendship, in the slightest.  Though I strongly suspect both parties will be looking at one another a bit differently from now on . . .

Joan even offered her “pal” Lane some parting humor.  “Plenty of people have wanted to do that to Pete Campbell,” Joan mused.

I could think of a few . . . .

In other news, Ken Cosgrove is my spirit animal, because he’s a writer with a day job.  (In fact, he’s a much better writer than I am, if the excerpt from his short story at the end of this week’s episode is any indication.  I bet he doesn’t even NEED animated gifs as a substitute for real humor . . .)

Sexy legs too . . .

You keep writing, Ken!  Don’t let The Man get you down!

Roger Sterling a.k.a. The Man 

Speaking of writers forced to use pen names to maintain their anonymity . . .

Gossip Girl – “Salon of the Dead”

This week on Gossip Girl, Serena was almost expose by Lola as the new titular GG .  . . but then he wasn’t.  Sorry, Lola!  The idea of S as Gossip Girl is apparently a tough sell.  After all, up until she graduated high school few people on the Upper East Side even knew she could read and write . . .

Lola’s brief foray into super-sleuthing Veronica Mars territory wasn’t a total  wash, however.  She did manage to accidentally reveal Diana Mc Slutty Slut as Chuck’s real bio mom . . . a real that seemed to be a “Shocking Suprise” to the good fictional folks of the UES, even though it neither shocked nor surprised anyone who actually watches Gossip Girl.

Poor Chuck!  Is there anyone on this show who hasn’t abandoned my Baby Bass?

*clears throat*

Well . . . aside from Nate, of course . . .

 Ah . . . bromance

Though Chuck’s initial reaction to this reveal was to run like heck, eventually, he did manage to sit down for an adult heart-to-heart, with Whorey van Whoreson.  Of course, it wasn’t long before mother and child were forced to grapple with the overwhelmingly ickly realization that Chuck’s mommy had been porking his best friend and roommate just inches away from where Chuck slept.  “I was planning on watching you from afar,” Diana said.

“Nate’s bed isn’t that far,” Chuck quipped.  (Well, she sure walked right into that one!)

Ahhh . . . good ole Chuck . . . always bringing the funny, even though he just foun out his mom is a slutty child molester from a video uploaded to his cell phone by a Special Guest Star, and the love of his life is dating a donut with Chia Pet hair . . .

In other much less interesting news, Blair and the Donut had the Lamest Coming Out Party ever . . . In fact, it was soooo bad, they both had to leave at the same time “to get ice.”  (You know a party is crap, when the hosts can’t even wait to leave it.)  To make matters worse, the Happy Couple, couldn’t even be bothered to invite their REAL friends, the Non-Judging Breakfast club to their party.  Of course, the crew ended up crashing anyway.  But it didn’t save the lameness of the event . . . or this increasingly sour storyline . . .

You know what might have saved this party though . . . some dancing . . .maybe even a little disco dancing.

Glee – “Saturday Night Gleever”

The few of you out there, who used to read my Gleecaps know that the show and I haven’t exactly been speaking terms lately.  And yet, each week, I always manage to find some aspect of the episode that I love.  This week my heart went out to a sassy cross dresser named Unique, and her Boogie, Boogie Shoes . . .

Also, Lord Tubbington made an appearance . . . the fat cat, who to this day, remains my favorite Glee character of all time.  I mean, just look at how talented this cat is!  And how many cats do YOU know who can actually say they were in a sex tape . . .

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Speaking of sex tapes, Brittany might not always show her love for Santana in the best ways, but you have to know that her and Santana’s road to slutty stardom was paved with excellent intentions.  And when you think about it, Brittany’s right.  Having a sex tape, and going on weird reality shows is the most surefire way to become famous these days.  Just ask the Kardashians .  . .

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I also love that Brittany came up with the idea to apply Santana for a cheerleading college scholarship, though I suspect it was actually Sue who penned the application, and possibly wrote the essay too.  After all, it would take a VERY liberal, liberal arts college to accept a higher education application that was written in crayon, and featured a hand-drawn picture of Lord Tubbington on the bottom . . .

It would be easy to write Brittany off as “just another stereotypical dumb blonde.”  And yet, the character can be surprisingly astute sometimes, especially when it comes to Santana.  Perhaps, a more accurate way to describe Brittany would be “childlike.”  Speaking of children . . .

New Girl – “Kids”

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Ahhh, if it isn’t the “my period is late, and now I have to reevaluate my life priorities” Baby Scare Storyline.  We’ve all seen it about a million times before.  And yet, there really is no fake baby like a Fake Schmidt Baby, who requires his very own Douche Baby Jar.

But Cece isn’t the only cast member contemplating her ablity to be a mom.  Jess too is forced to take on the role of the Dreaded Adult, when she is asked to babysit Russell’s 11-year old Sarah.  But Sarah isn’t just your ordinary, garden variety 11-year old. In fact, she just so happens to share the collective brain of every Nick fangirl who watches this show.

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That’s right New Girlian’s!  Sarah thinks Nick is SUPER HOT . . . even though his eyes look “like poop.”

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Truth be told, she would very much like to “rub [her] face all over his face” (but not all over his eyes . . . you know, because of the whole “poop” thing).  Sarah’s episode-long love for Nick is great for the show, for a few reasons.  For starters, she gets Jess to admit that Nick is hot, “in a rumpled, small town PI-kind of way.”

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Sarah also seems to singlehandedly break Nick of his already three-or-four episode long habit of dating college girls, by inadvertently showing him JUST how much younger than him they actually are.  (Hint: His current date used to ride the school bus with Sarah.)

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But, best of all, Sarah’s little temper tantrum, get’s Nick and Jess to sit on the floor together,  outside their bedroom door, stare dreamily into one another’s eyes,  and each confess to Sarah why they are both so terrible for OTHER people to date, while, at the same time, proving just how perfect they are for ONE ANOTHER to date.

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So, hooray for Sarah.  But I still can’t figure out how she was spawned from these two .  . .

I mean, red-headedness is supposed to be a recessive trait, right?

Oh, and, just in case you were curious, Cece and Schmidt aren’t pregnant.  So, there little “caramel miracle-to be” may have to wait another season.

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Better luck next time, Future Schmidt Baby!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Weekend at Roman’s – A Recap of Big Love, Season 4, Episode 1 “Free at Last”

            Greetings “Big Lovers!”  It’s that time again.  After the obligatory year-long hiatus that has become trademark for HBO Series, our favorite polygamist family are back to grace our television screens with their Heavenly Father-loving presence.  So, without further adieu, gather up all your wives, broil up some crab legs, and let’s get on with the show, shall we?

            Big Love’s premiere episode began with a brand new opener and corresponding theme song.  The show’s producers have decided to ditch The Beach Boys’, sappily sweet and jubilantly jolly, “God Only Knows,” for the sad emo sounds of Animal Kingdom’s “Bright Lights.”  Really?  An ultra hip indie rock song as an opener for a television show about uptight polygamists in Utah?  Call me a fuddy duddy, but I am just not that comfortable with my Henricksons having cooler taste in music than I do.

            In addition to the new song, the old opening sequence has also been unceremoniously dumped.  No longer will we be treated to images of the Henrickson family holding hands as they enjoy ice skating through a sea of white, or chowing down on a bountiful outdoor meal under a sun-filled sky.  Instead, each of the four main characters are now shown amidst a sea of black, falling.  Not just falling, but falling “dramatically.” It was almost as if the entire cast of Big Love had taken an acting class together, in which they were given directions such as “fall sad,”  “fall happy,” “fall contemplative,” “fall constipated,” and we are watching their responses.

                  Remember back when The Sopranos was still on the air, and before each season began, the producers would release a promo poster featuring the entire cast?  (Man, do I miss that show!)  Remember how television pundits across the nation would use up pages and pages of magazine space analyzing the poster and its implications for the upcoming season?  Well, I could only guess that the producers of Big Love were going for the same effect here.  But for me, the new somber-toned opener was a tad esoteric, more than a bit depressing, and just plain over-ambitious.

            Overall, the series’ excessive ambition was a problem that plagued the entire episode, which seemed to be heading a million directions at once, making it difficult for the viewer to become particularly invested in any one story.  Nevertheless, there were some intriguing stories presented here, which definitely deserve their due.  Here are some of the new plotlines that jump started Season 4:

Plot 1: Weekend at Roman’s

            Although this will undoubtedly make me sound morbid as heck, this was by far my favorite plotline of the night.  When we last saw The Prophet of Juniper Creek (played with “dirty old man” goodness by Harry Dean Stanton), he had just been smothered under the weight of a pillow held by Bill’s brother, Joey and was, presumably, dead.

            Now, Roman is missing.  And yet, for a dead guy, he seems surprisingly adept at investing.  Apparently the aforementioned corpse has recently come into large sums of money – said money having been purportedly deposited into a new bank account opened in Roman’s name by his daughter and Bill’s scheming adulterer of a second wife, Nikki Grant (Chloe Sevigny).  As a result, the FBI are literally invading upon the lives of our characters in search of the errant Roman, raiding the compound and harassing Nikki, who, of course, denies all accusations against her. 

            When a hysterical Adaleen Grant (Mary Kay Place) calls Nikki about a power outage on the compound, her daughter reluctantly purchases a generator and heads to her estranged mother’s doorstep.  Nikki drops off the generator and turns to leave when her mother implores her to remain for a BLT sandwich. (This seemed to be an odd lunch choice for a bunch of religious extremists, so my Spidey Sense was immediately tingling by this point.)  Nevertheless, when Adaleen requested that Nikki go down to the cellar to “bring home the bacon,” Nikki obediently complied.

            I instantly expected Momma Grant to lock Nikki in the cellar, but she surprised me and didn’t.  What happened next was far more interesting.  When Nikki reaches the end of the dark creepy compound basement and moves the slabs of meat out of the way, she finds herself face-to-face with a Roman Grantsicle.  Yep, it appears Roman Grant has been reduced from the living leader of the Juniper Creek LDS community to a very realistic Madame Tussaud wax figure of Harry Dead Stanton, complete with icicles hanging from its nose.  And if that’s not dead, I don’t know what is.

            When Nikki informs her brother Alby (Matt Ross) about their father’s death and subsequent baconey burial, he can barely restrain his unadulterated glee at the news.  “No, you be sad!  It’s very, very sad,” Nikki scolds self-righteously.

            And yet, Nikki is not gone for two seconds before Alby and his Lady MacBeth-esque wife, Laura (Anne Dudek) begin their “Daddy is Dead Celebration Party!”  Laura, ever the rebel, goes as far as to remove two cans of Coors Light from their otherwise empty fridge!  (Apparently, when stocking up on the LDS-verboten alcohol, the Grants neglected to purchase any real food.  Perhaps Abaleen should send over some of her famous BLT sandwiches?)

                 Empty fridge aside, it is Laura who triumphantly utters the very words that make up the episode’s title, “Free at Last.”  Alby, whose fur-free baby face does mustache-twirling villany like no other, is slightly more restrained than his wife.  Instead of jumping for joy, Nikki’s bad seed brother calmly sits back in his chair, clasps his hands together and says tonelessly, “My destiny is filled.  God will surely punish those who block my path to Glory.”

            Later that evening, Alby and Laura are seen driving together in a car that bears some very precious cargo.  “Did you see that?  He just gave me a mean look, because I’m going to be the prophet now,” explains Alby childishly, as he stares intently at our favorite frozen LDS leader in the backseat.

            Our well-traveled human ice sculpture pops up again later, somewhat thawed out, on the grounds where the Henrickson’s new casino is set to open in just a few days.  There he sits, soaking up some sun, while lying a comfy beach chair, in what must be a send up to that classic 80’s dead-guy flick “Weekend at Bernie’s.”  And pardon me for saying that, just like the titular Bernie Lomax, Roman Grant seems to be having way more fun dead than he ever did alive.

            Fortunately, as always, Bill (played by the still sexy Bill Paxton) is there to save the day.  With Nikki in toe, he carts the Roaming Roman away in his car, presumably toward a proper burial.  En route, he and Nikki, who we learn have not screwed since he found out she was cheating on him with the DA investigating her father last season, share a moment.  Bill provides comfort, delicately taking his second wife’s hand, when the heretofore stoic Nikki finally breaks down and cries over the death of her not-so-paternal daddy.

Plot 2: Mother and Child

            On the homefront, the Henrickson clan is adjusting to yet another new addition to their already insanely large family: namely, Nikki’s 14-year old daughter, Cara Lynn.  Fearing that her former husband J.J. will enter her daughter into the Joy Book, making her eligible for marriage at the compound, Nikki takes Cara Lynn into her home, and hides her from authorities.  Cara Lynn, who desires the opportunity to attend public school, agrees.  We learn from Nikki, that Cara Lynn has done exceedingly well on her placement exams, and will start public school a grade ahead of other girls her age.  (Gee, the Juniper Creek educational system must be awesome.  When can I enroll?)

            When J.J. storms into the Henrickson’s backyard and demands the return of his daughter, Bill, ever the peacekeeper, brokers a compromise.  He proposes Cara Lynn be returned to J.J on weekends, provided that she be allowed to attend school and stay with the Henricksons during the week.  J.J. reluctantly agrees, and actually seems like a pretty good dad in his initial interaction with his daughter.  He denies designs on placing Cara Lynn in the Joy Book, and even offers to re-enroll her in school at the compound, if that is what she wants.  Cara Lynn promises J.J. that she has every intention of returning to him once the school year ends.  She even agrees to go with him to Kansas when he moves there the following summer.

Plot 3: Itchy and Scratchy Henrickson

            In my least favorite plot point of the night, Ma and Pa Henrickson (played by, Grace Zabriski and Bruce Dern, respectively) continued their three season trend of finding new and increasingly less inventive ways to try and kill one another.  Frank, for his part, hired goons with nooses to accost Lois when he picked her up in his car.  Lois, in return, put a gun to Frank’s head.  Later, after a tedious tussle in Lois’s new home, the couple came to a temporary truce, agreeing to become business partners in Lois’s new hare-brained (or should I say “bird-brained”) profit-making scheme, which involves buying parrots for $30 and selling them for $700.  Here’s hoping that these two play nice for at least a few more episodes.

Plot 4: I Want Crab Legs!

            In the season opener, we find that the often-underestimated Margene (played by the adorable Ginnifer Goodwin) has become overwhelmed with juggling her new jewelry making career and the public relations aspects associated with opening the Blackfoot Magic Casino.  As we learned last year, Margene exhibited quite a bit of natural talent when it came to schmoozing the Blackfoot people.  I love that the once-juvenile and needy Margene is finally coming into her own as a capable and intelligent woman this season. 

              Margene encourages Barb (Jean Tripplehorn) to take over her responsibilities regarding the Casino, claiming that doing so will help the First Wife regain the confidence she lost after being excommunicated from her church.  And yet, Barb, typically the universal caretaker, and quintessential Super Mom, finds herself to be lacking in the social skills and personable warmth necessary to handle the Henrickson’s newest business partners.  She butts heads with them in many ways, most notably regarding the food choice for the casino’s opening night.  Barb demands that they serve crab legs, apparently a main stay on every Mormon family dinner table, while the Blackfoot tribe prefers salmon. 

                 When Bill is way-layed on the casino’s opening night, and the Casino’s would-be headliner Kenny Rogers can’t make it there in time to perform, Margene encourages Barb to make the opening night speech.  Barb initially looks incredibly nervous and awkward, standing in front of the gaming crowd.  However, she ultimately does an admirable job welcoming her new customers to the casino.  She ends her short speech, by introducing her son Ben’s band to the crowd, as it performs a slightly pitchy karaoke-esque cover of Rogers’ once chart-topping The Gambler.

                 Judging by the impressive amount of green stashed in the metal box exhibited to the family at the end of the night by the security staff, Barb’s awkward introduction did little to diminish the new casino’s giant profit margin.  All in all, the casino’s opening night appeared to be a successful one.

Plot 1 (Reprise): Dead Guys Don’t Always Wear Black

             Unfortunately, when it comes to the Henricksons, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.  Despite, the Casino’s opening night success, angry Blackfoot Tribe representatives confront Bill at the end of the evening.  Holding Roman’s iconic white hat aloft like the talisman of evil it clearly is, the tribe representatives demand answers.  It appears that “Dead Roman” is having some trouble keeping himself buried.

                I have to say, this part rang just a bit untrue for me.  Are we really supposed to believe that the Blackfoots would instantly identify that hat as belonging to Roman Grant.  Sure, he was wearing it in his Wanted Poster, but doesn’t everyone in Utah own at least one white cowboy hat?  Come on now . . .  

              That aside, the re-emergence of the white hat was an intriguing end to an uneven episode.  Here’s hoping it symbolizes the promise of better episodes to come.

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